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Meet Toilet Operator Yahaya Tairu #WeAreSafisana

3 min read

Toilet operator Yahaya Tairu owns and manages a public toilet facility in Greater Accra, not far from the Safisana recycling plant. He offers clean toilet services to hundreds of men and women per day, who don't have a toilet at home.

"In my role as a toilet operator, my responsibilities revolve around ensuring that people have access to clean and well-maintained toilets. On a regular day, I have about 300 people visiting my facility. But I know there is a potential to attract more people, I have experienced some days in which about 1000 people visited the facility. Although that’s quite exceptional, it’s possible! I charge a fee of 1 cedi (= 0.08 euro cents) per person, but there are times when individuals can’t afford it. I understand the challenges people face in Accra, and I occasionally allow them to use the facility without payment. However, I must strike a balance since this impacts both my income and that of my employees."

Responsibilities as a toilet operator

"For a few years, his toilet facility has been part of the Safisana supply chain, which means that the faecal waste from his facility is brought to Safisana for treatment and recycling. Safisana assisted in giving my facility building a fresh coat of paint, making it more inviting and attractive to my customers. My daily tasks include managing fee collection, maintaining cleanliness, and ensuring a sufficient stock of toilet paper and soap for our visitors. Additionally, I handle maintenance issues related to plumbing, electricity or septic systems. It is very important to keep toilets clean and in good working order because these conditions directly impact our revenue. Clean and well-maintained toilets not only attract more customers but also contribute to our reputation, whereas unclean ones discourage people from returning."

The advantages of public toilets

"My future plans include opening another public toilet facility because I know they are crucial to our society. Without these facilities, our streets would be contaminated with human waste, which directly affects our health. Thanks to public toilets, areas that were once unsanitary and dirty have seen significant improvements in Ashaiman. These facilities provide designated areas for people to relieve themselves, preventing open defecation in streets and gutters.

Furthermore, dedicated workers like the faecal truck drivers who come to collect the waste and dispose it safely for treatment at the Safisana recycling plant. This contributes to efficient waste management and to our community’s safety and cleanliness."

"But Safisana’s impact doesn’t end there. Their unique approach to processing waste into electricity and organic fertilizer is especially important in Ashaiman where electricity shortages are common. Safisana’s circular recycling system brings benefits back to our community."

Toilet operator Yahaya in the door opening of his toilet facility

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This story is part of a storytelling campaign in the running up to World Toilet Day on November 19th.
Learn about the current state of sanitation in Ghana in 4 Out of a Million Reasons why celebrating World Toilet Day is important or read the stories of what school teacher Emmanuella teaches her students on safe sanitation.

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Safisana Holding,
Weesp, The Netherlands
+31 (0) 294 773857

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